A Formula for Growth

by Rebecca Morgan, CSP, CMC on October 18, 2018

Rebecca Morgan Growth quote

“Why stay we on the earth except to grow?” —Robert Browning

Most people would agree with Browning. Unfortunately, growth doesn’t always come easily; often we feel “stuck.” If you’re feeling stuck, here’s a formula to help you get unstuck:


Awareness is the knowledge of our strengths, weaknesses, goals, and desires. As we become aware, the picture becomes clear. Vaguely amorphous feelings become focused and gain power, much as a ray of morning light broadens into day..

We increase awareness through introspection, creativity, classes and workshops, counseling, reading, and honest talks with friends, family, co-workers, even bosses. Awareness is a process, rather than a goal.

The force of awareness carries its own motivation. For example, a smoker who experiences severe chest pains (awareness) may quit smoking with surprising ease. If the stakes are high enough, we translate awareness into action, e.g., growth, without much discipline.

More often than not, however, the immediate stakes are not so high, so obvious or so tangible that awareness creates action. More often, we see the wisdom of changing our behavior while we continue our old patterns.

+ Self-Discipline

To break out of old patterns we need discipline. Athletes have coaches and musicians have teachers to provide both awareness and discipline. Most of the time, though, you’re on your own.

How can you be your own coach? Begin by focusing on your goal, visualizing the outcome, and creating a plan (e.g., start with manageable steps, write them down, and keep promises made to yourself). You might enlist a friend as a surrogate coach to help you stay on track.

But sometimes nothing seems to work. No matter what you do, you remain stuck in old patterns. How do you know when to give up? When the effort is not worth the payoff? When your progress isn’t commensurate with the time you spend? Or maybe you never give up.

= Growth

We don’t achieve every goal we set for ourselves, but we can grow from every attempt we make—no matter what the outcome. For this reason our formula does not equal “success” or “results.” We won’t always succeed. However, if we choose, we can grow to a new level of wisdom.

So the formula itself isn’t magic. It is, however, a shorthand method to help us remember why we put ourselves through painful and difficult situations, and why we deny ourselves certain pleasures. We like the feeling of working through the equation. We like the feeling of growth. We like knowing that we are better than we were before.

Life's Lessons: Insights and Information for a Richer LifeThis is an excerpt from Life’s Lessons: Insights and Information for a Richer Life.


Couple Candor with Kindness

by Rebecca Morgan, CSP, CMC on October 10, 2018

Rebecca Morgan Candor Kindness quote


Don’t Make Decisions for Me Without Consulting Me

by Rebecca Morgan, CSP, CMC on September 20, 2018

It happens at work:

“She won’t want to be on the committee. She’s too busy.”
“He wouldn’t like this new project. He likes what he’s doing now.”
“He has a family at home so won’t want to take the trip to visit the new customer.”
“She doesn’t like public speaking so we shouldn’t ask her to speak at the conference.”

It happens in one’s personal life:

“He won’t want to accompany me to the class/concert/play.”
“She’s fussy about eating so we she won’t want to join us to try the new restaurant.”
“He’s not a big outdoors buff so we shouldn’t bother inviting him to join our hike.”
“She doesn’t like crowds so we won’t ask her to come to the parade.”



Why Venting is Toxic

by Rebecca Morgan, CSP, CMC on August 30, 2018

“I need to vent” is an oft-heard expression when one is frustrated.

Great that the person is clear on what they need.

However, they often vent indiscriminately to whomever is within earshot. I’ve had strangers express their frustration to me, even though the cause of their angst had nothing to do with me.

Venters say it makes them feel better to get their upset off their chest. I think of it like coughing without covering your mouth — it makes you feel better to release what needs to be released, but you are spreading your negative thoughts to those around you, most of whom don’t want to hear it. So while it may make *you* feel better, it makes other innocent bystanders feel worse.

You are spreading your bad vibes to others who may be inflicted. They may be having a perfectly fine day until you dump your vexation onto his/her head. Some may slough it off, but others will allow it to taint their mood. Do you really want to do that — leave bad emotions in your wake?

So what to do if you find it useful to express your frustration to others? Here are some options:



Stop Offering Feedback

by Rebecca Morgan, CSP, CMC on August 23, 2018

I’m sure I’m not the only one who bristles when someone asks, “Can I give you some feedback?” It’s usually unsolicited advice about something the giver feels you did wrong.Rarely is there any inquiry first into your reasoning for the behavior, just, in essence, “You did something I don’t like.” It is often focused on what you have already done, feeling like criticism for something you now cannot change, rather than suggestions for moving forward.

Some feedback is completely unhelpful. When someone writes a generality on a presentation evaluation, or passes on a third-party opinion, there’s no way to ask questions for clarification on what was offensive and how you could make it less so.

Rebecca Morgan Feedback quote



Article in Malaysia’s Leaderonomics Magazine

June 30, 2018

Tweet I’m honored to have my article, “When You Need to Give a Hug” in this week’s Leaderonomics Magazine. It’s about my encounter with a sobbing woman in an elevator. See the attached.

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Join Aug. 10 webinar

June 7, 2018

Tweet Please be my guest. We are allowing my contacts to attend this upcoming Leadership USA webinar which is usually only for members. I will share key information included in my most recent book, Leadership Lessons from Silicon Valley: How to Survive and Thrive in Disruptive Times. It will be interactive, and fast moving. If you’d like […]

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Innovation to Help Engineers Get Closer to Customers

March 22, 2018

Tweet As a consumer, you may commonly hear yourself express your frustration with software, a website or an app. “What were they thinking?” you may ask when something doesn’t work as you think it should. Some companies involve customers during the design phase, holding focus groups, talking to end users, or watching how customers use […]

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Briefing and networking lunch March 28

March 17, 2018

Tweet If you are responsible for developing leaders in your organization, I invite you to a March 28 breakfast briefing for my newest venture, Leadership USA-Silicon Valley. Here’s an overview. LUSA-SV member-company leaders can attend monthly in-person, day-long leadership seminars led by national thought leaders, leadership experts and bestselling authors. Members’ leaders can attend any […]

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Your Conscientiousness Determines Your Success

March 13, 2018

Tweet Your level of conscientiousness has more effect on your life than you might have thought. It can determine many success factors, including your income, job satisfaction, health and even marital happiness. If you have a high conscientiousness level and those around you don’t, you’re going to experience a lot of frustration. You will be […]

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